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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release November 19, 1997
                    T-REX TO REMAIN IN MONTANA

              65 Million-Year-Old Remains of Dinosaur
              Are Public Treasure, Teaching Resource

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Gore today (11/19) said that the bones of a 65 million-year-old Tyrannosaurous-rex dinosaur unearthed this year in Montana will stay where they've been for the last 65 million years -- in the state of Montana -- where they will serve as a public treasure and teaching resource.

"I've always known that America's soil is the richest and most abundant in the world -- no bones about it," the Vice President said. "I applaud the residents of Fort Peck for their commitment to keeping the T-rex preserved for their community and for children everywhere."

The Tyrannosaurous-rex (T-rex) is said to be the largest carnivore ever to walk the earth. It was discovered in July on U.S. Department of Agriculture property. Because it was discovered on federal property, the T-rex is the property of the people of the United States. The Vice President has asked Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to work closely with Montana state officials and the Montana congressional delegation to identify a suitable facility within the state where it will be accessible to the public.

Secretary Glickman said, "This promises to be one of the largest and most complete T-rex specimens ever discovered. It is only one of 23 ever discovered. I am pleased that this valuable fossil will remain with the people of Montana where it will be on display for everyone to learn about the pre-history of the region and of the earth."

Officials from the Department of Agriculture and Interior, and the Smithsonian Institution, have worked closely with the residents of Fort Peck, Montana, Montana State officials, and the non-for-profit organization Earthwatch to see that the fossilized remains are properly preserved. The Smithsonian Institution also has offered its expertise and assistance in any matter related to proper excavation, curation, and care of the T-rex.